Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Do As I Do, Not As I Say!

Yet again corporate America comes ashore with another stark example of why "behavior is all that matters."  Hat tip to Shel Holtz for the "ship to shore" inspiration and reminder that solid moorings are required for a stellar reputation. 

Not to single out Wells Fargo, with whom I have had a 40 year relationship, it's behavior where the reputation rubber meets the road. It is how you act and not what you say that drives image and brand. The Wells Fargo Board's tardy response to its latest crisis is or should be a a wake up call to the enterprise that behavior not platitudes is all that matters to reputation. 
True North navigation should have signaled the following response:

  • The board and its chair and CEO should have led the fiasco's aftermath with an honest and straightforward response to the disclosure. 
  • The CEO should have been out there and the spokesperson. He should have been on the bow of the ship speaking the company's apologies and strategy to make things right. 
  • The Board should have been visible from the dock, assuring stakeholders swift action and answers. 
  • Supporting staff should echo the leader's apologies and action moving forward. And employee should be informed in real time, all the time.
  • Management leaders should not have accepted bonuses and remuneration until the board completed its investigation and due diligence. 
  • Had the response been swift and thorough, Congress would not have needed to hold hearings. The information would have been out there for all to see, hear and react.
Abject lesson: "Do as I do, not as I say." Behavior in the C Suite needs to change. Ego must go. Agendas must focus on customers and employees first. The public must have respect, truth and light. Right the ship!

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